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Nelson Doubleday Jr. Dies: Former Mets Owner Was 81

Image: Nelson Doubleday Jr. Dies: Former Mets Owner Was 81
(AP Photo/Adam Nadel)

By    |   Friday, 19 Jun 2015 09:20 AM

Nelson Doubleday Jr., former owner of the New York Mets and a descendant of the game's iconic figure Abner Doubleday, died Tuesday at his home on Locust Valley, New York. He was 81.

Doubleday & Company purchased 80 percent of the Mets' asking price of $21 million to buy the franchise in 1980, reported CBS Sports. When the team won the World Series in 1986, Doubleday and partner Fred Wilpon became sole owners after they bought out Doubleday & Company.

 


Wilpon and his Sterling Equities bought Doubleday's 50 percent stock in the team in 2002.

"We were saddened to hear the news of the passing of Nelson Doubleday Jr.," said the Mets in a statement Wednesday. "Nelson had a love of baseball and the Mets. On behalf of everyone at the organization, we send our condolences and sympathies to his family."

The New York Daily News said Doubleday and Wilpon were credited with hiring general manager Frank Cashen who turned the Mets into winners through its farm system. Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Lenny Dykstra, Kevin Mitchell and Wally Backman came through the farm clubs.

That core along with trades that brought the Mets Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Bobby Ojeda helped make the Mets perennial winners during the 1980s.

"We believe it's a viable investment," Doubleday said about buying the Mets in 1980. "It would have been foolish to spend that kind of money just because I'm a baseball fan or old Uncle Abner invented the game. We expect it to work and we expect to have a lot of fun with it."

The Daily News said Doubleday's low-key style was often compared to the headline grabbing style of his cross-city rival George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees.

"I'd prefer that nobody know who I am," Doubleday said at one time. "I hate being photographed. I hate being interviewed. I hate the whole damn thing. I much prefer the private life."

A graduate of Princeton University, he served in the Air Force and held position in the family's Doubleday publishing company, which at one time was the largest publishing company in the United States, according to the Washington Post.


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Nelson Doubleday Jr., former owner of the New York Mets and a descendant of the game's iconic figure Abner Doubleday, died Tuesday at his home on Locust Valley, New York. He was 81.
nelson doubleday jr., dies, former, mets, owner
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2015-20-19
Friday, 19 Jun 2015 09:20 AM
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